We know from the work of psychologists such as Freud and his successors that we seem to be almost programmed to take a critical view of ourselves. I think we all experience this and we so easily fall into mulling over what’s gone wrong with us and for us. This can bring with it quite a lot of emotional pain, often unhelpful pain.
So we tend to spend a lot of time asking, in that old phrase, ‘Where did I go wrong?’ But sometimes it is worth balancing this by asking ‘Where did I go right?’ because for many of us what we did right easily falls into the shadows and gets lost in our self-criticism.
Where did they go right?
Remembering where you went right can give you a welcome a break from endless fault finding. It can also help to ask ‘Where did they go right?’ about people who are important to us. We seem to live in an era of grumbling and fault-finding – at least that’s the impression I get from social media. But other people do things right also and maybe acknowledging this can help to lighten our emotional experience.
Build a habit
Give it a try, maybe next time you’re having a tea or coffee: ask ‘Where did I go right?’ and ‘Where did they go right?’ If you do this a few times when having a break, it could become a very positive habit.
What I’ve suggested here is taken from my online self -compassion course ‘True Friend – be a friend to the person you really are.’
Image by Ankush Minda
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